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Heraclitos Muhire

Heraclitos Muhire

Doctoral student

Heraclitos Muhire

Constructions of migrant victims of labor exploitation in Nordic court cases


  • Isabel Schoultz
  • Marlene Spanger
  • Anniina Jokinen
  • Synnøve Økland Jahnsen
  • Heraclitos Muhire
  • Anna-Greta Pekkarinen

Summary, in Swedish

The aim of this article is to explore how courts produce certain representations of victims of labor exploitation in the Nordic context based on court judgements from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. To achieve this, we analyze and compare criminal court judgements focused on the exploitation of migrant workers by asking: How are ‘victims’ of labor exploitation represented in Nordic court judgements? What is left unproblematic and silenced? In each country, we have identified criminal court cases that have legally examined aspects of the exploitation of migrant workers, in total, 91 court judgements. Drawing on Bacchi’s (2009) WPR-approach, we can show that the representations of victims apparent in the court judgements involve a legal construction of vulnerability that is reserved for the most marginalized migrant workers. The narrow representation silences the broader socio-economic context in which migrant workers exist. Our results also indicate that the threshold for being defined as a victim of labor exploitation is lower in some of the Nordic countries and higher in others. Thus, while there is a normative consensus that the exploitation of migrant workers should be prosecuted, in practice the court judgements reflect substantial differences in the legal interpretations applied across the Nordic countries.


  • Department of Sociology of Law

Publishing year





International Review of Victimology

Document type

Journal article


SAGE Publications


  • Law and Society




  • ISSN: 0269-7580